Fair helps connect employers to students


The newly bi-annual Johnson State College internship and career fair took place on the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 21 in the multipurpose gymnasium of SHAPE.

This event was arranged by Coordinator of Career Development Beth Walsh and Internship Program Coordinator Ellen Hill. Collectively they brought in representatives from 35 companies and organizations, providing a variety of opportunities.
Industries included were arts and education, business, environmental, graduate school, healthcare and human services, hotel and tourism, legal and criminal justice, armed forces, and non-profit and public services.

Throughout the 4 hour fair, there was a steady flow of students in search of opportunities for career advancement, networking, and resume building.

With such an abundance in variety of jobs and internships available, many students left with a significantly more positive outlook on their future.

Undergraduate Kyle Miller described the scene as “a whole array of different subjects, basically for every major.” He was very pleased with the experience, as he departed with a job offer in hand.
The career and internship fair has a rich history of success stories. JSC alum Emily Cloutier, started as an intern at Union Bank in 2012 and secured a full time position before graduating in 2014. She said, “The internship allowed me to get the inside scoop on things and different experiences.”.

Cloutier was allowed to sit in on board meetings with department managers, which many of her more seasoned coworkers never had the chance to do. While the opportunities provided to her were incredibly advantageous, she acknowledged that the onus was on her to capitalize on them. “Unless you put that first foot forward, you could very easily slip through the cracks as an intern.”, she said.
Although internships are generally regarded as a way to establish a career, they can also put you in a situation to have an impact beyond your own life.

A few years ago, a female JSC student had an internship in Washington, D.C. with a group that was working on human trafficking issues. While interning she discovered that Vermont was one of 4 remaining states at the time that lacked laws against human trafficking.

She then began operating with state legislators on crafting a bill to address the matter, and eventually stood alongside former Vermont Governor Jim Douglas when the law was signed into effect. Her influence on the landmark event was so significant, Douglas handed her the pen he used to make the document official.

While it can’t be expected that every internship found through the event will lead to such a momentous legislative reform, the job placement rate is undeniable. A graduate survey is conducted after each academic year to determine the effectiveness of the internship program. According to Career Development Coordinator Beth Walsh, “Last year’s survey showed that out of the students who identified doing an internship or teaching practicum, 70 percent are either working at that site, offered jobs at that site and declined, or are working someplace else because of their internship experience.”

The survey also showed that 188 students interned for a total of 45,900 hours, earning 826 college credits. Hill added, “JSC students have interned in Vermont and throughout the United States, from the Union Bank in nearby Morrisville, to the Stowe Reporter, Lamoille County Mental Health, to Jay Peak, to Walt Disney World in Florida, and the office of Senator Patrick Leahy in Washington, D.C.